Norwich City boss Chris Hughton refuses to be drawn on John Ruddy versus Joe Hart rivalry
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Chris Hughton insists Norwich City's John Ruddy will not let England down if he gets the chance to step out of Joe Hart's shadow.
Hart could be on the bench for Norwich's Premier League visit to Manchester City after a series of high profile errors for club and country. Ruddy agreed a Carrow Road contract extension during the build-up to this weekend's showdown and Hughton admits that is just reward for the 27-year-old's role in the club's rise.
'It's not for me to say if he is on a par with Joe Hart or not but I would be comfortable in him playing at any level,' said Hughton. 'Fortunately for us he is doing an incredible job and I hope that is the case for a long time yet. As the Norwich manager it is of course difficult for me to speak about someone else's keeper, but I will happily speak about John. He has developed so well at our club. I've only had him for a year and he missed a chunk of that through injury but I can see the progression.
'For someone with the disappointment of missing that period he has worked even harder to improve his game, to be a presence. He is an individual who has now turned himself into a top keeper.'
City club captain Russell Martin believes his team mate deserves a shot in England's upcoming friendlies against Chile and Germany next month.
'He works extremely hard and I hope he does get a chance. He has been in a lot of squads now and I think he has had just the 45 minutes,' said Martin. 'He is a top, top keeper. The improvement I have seen in the three or so years he has been here with us is huge. He is confident, commanding and everything you would want in a keeper playing behind you. If he gets a chance I am sure he will put himself in the frame, but Joe Hart is a top keeper. I think people can't wait to jump on a mistake. There seems to have been more pressure on him this season than in the past. Watching the Champions League recently he made some tremendous saves and they weren't spoken about too much and then he makes a mistake. When you are playing for England and one of the top teams in the world at club level that is what comes with it. I've heard he is a mentally strong lad and you can see that so I'm sure that does not affect him too much. He is still one of the best in the world.'